Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Jinya Ramen Bar (Metrotown)

Jinya Ramen Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Met up with a friend on a rainy afternoon here. We dropped in shortly before Noon and it was maybe 1/3rd busy. Shortly after, the place was packed -- all tables and bar seating pretty much occupied.

As there were vegan options, I went vegan to try it out. DISCLAIMER: I am NOT vegan. Vegans, vegetarians, and other limited-diet people sort of have a beggars-can't-be-choosers position so they may rate the vegan fare here higher. I'm omnivorous so I'm probably more critical here.
My friend's spicy meatball ramen had a much tastier (and spicier) broth, so overall you will probably have a tastier time here than if you go vegetarian. After all, flavourful broth is one of the main things about ramen.

TIP: Be careful ordering drinks and extras as there's a lot of soup here. The bowl is sharply tapered so there *may* be a bit less soup than other ramen places, but probably not by much.

Price seems pretty steep but is only a couple dollars more than say, Fat Mao Noodles. Tea is $2. But you probably don't want to order a drink anyway since you want to save room to drink up your noodle broth.

Spicy Creamy Vegan Ramen ($16.80) vegetable broth, tofu, onion, spinach, crispy onion, garlic chips, garlic oil, chili oil, sesame seeds; served with thick noodles
  • When I saw "creamy" I thought the broth would be thicker and richer, but... no.
  • Maybe because it's a veggie broth, the whole thing was on the bland side and thankfully there were condiments at the table to rescue this dish.
  • The menu lists all sorts of flavourful ingredients but somehow it still manages to be on the blander side overall.
  • For a vegetarian dish it;s pretty pricey compared to their meatier offerings.
  • Pass on this and go vegetarian elsewhere.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Festal Cafe

Festal Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Casual get-together with a friend at The Festal Cafe today, during a weird limbo dead time between lunch and dinner so there were just a couple of patrons in the otherwise spacious diner of communal benches.

The food was actually surprisingly good, and not much to complain about for the price, especially considering it's downtown location.

Spicy Chicken & Waffles ($14.55) local free-range chicken breast, wild boar bacon, real maple syrup, no grain waffle bread, coleslaw, side of cassava chips
  • I would really have liked to know it was going to be a cold sandwich.
  • Not skimpy with the slab of chicken, and for all white meat chicken breast, it was actually fairly moist and tender.
  • Overall I thought this was really not that great in composition. If you deconstruct it you do find a nice slab of chicken sitting in coleslaw.
  • Those cassava chips are winners. Really good crunch to them without any oil.
Butternut Lasagna ($14.95) local grass-fed beef, butternut squash, spinach, cashew cheese, creamy coconut tomato sauce and fresh Italian herbs and spices
  • Medium slab for your money but tastes good and pretty filling. Really, really, decent offering for the price.
  • Felt more like some kind of meat loaf rather than layered lasagne But never mind that, it's tasty.
TIP: Service stations have stacks of paleo "cheat sheets" that give you a quick primer on what's allowed for the paleo diet.